October 2015

America’s Central Port Dedicates South Harbor


Pictured from left to right in the above picture are: Illinois Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Christine Reed, Former Port Commissioner Joe Schuler, Port Commissioner and Venice Township Supervisor Andy Economy, Port Commissioner Charles King Jr., Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan, U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen, Mayor of Madison and America’s Central Port Board Chairman John Hamm III, Executive Director of America’s Central Port Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Retired U.S. Congressman Jerry Costello, Senator William Haine, Representative Dan Beiser, St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern, Mayor of Alton and Port Commissioner Brant Walker, Mayor of Grafton and Port Commissioner Tom Thompson, Former Port Commissioner Melvin Wilmsmeyer, Tom Hewlett, Former Port District General Manager Velda Taylor, and Madison City Council Member Michael Vrabrec.

City of Madison, Ill., The Board of Commissioners and staff members at America’s Central Port welcomed state and local officials along with hundreds of business leaders for dedication of the South Harbor project today. The project constructed  9,600 feet of rail track, moved over one million cubic yards of dirt and used over 8,000 cubic yards of concrete to create a new rail/ truck/ barge terminal and general cargo barge dock.

“This is a great day for the City of Madison,” stated John Hamm III, Mayor of Madison, Illinois and current Board Chairman at America’s Central Port. “Today we celebrate the opportunities this project has created for the City of Madison, the Port District, and for the St. Louis region as a whole,” said Hamm.

The ceremony included speeches by Hamm, Madison County Board Chairman, Alan Dunstan, Illinois Deputy Secretary of Transportation, Christine Reed, and US Maritime Administrator, Paul “Chip” Jaenichen.

“For years Madison County and the Port District have partnered together to promote growth and transportation in the area,” said Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan. “With continued investments into our infrastructure, like those in the South Harbor, we are spurring future growth and job creation for Madison County.”

The new $50 million facility at America’s Central Port will increase the handling capabilities of Port operators to better accommodate the demands and needs of Midwest growers and shippers. Waterway shipping provides agricultural and industrial shippers a more economical rate structure that will allow them to better compete in the global market place.

The ceremony also highlighted a $2.3 million U.S. Economic Development Administration grant for additional rail track work at the Port District that was announced on September 30th. The Port District also announced the additional construction of a new grain bin to complement the new grain terminal. Construction is expected to commence immediately.

The ceremony concluded with tours of the new conveyor system, a river tow boat and the City of Madison’s new fire boat.